LaQuan Smith Pencil Bun & Business-Casual Beauty 2024


On Monday night, at the LaQuan Smith Fall 2024 show, key hairstylist Lacy Redway sent models down the runway in a hairstyle that proved we’ve officially reached the height of the business-casual beauty trend. Redway calls the 9-to-5-ready buns, “the knotted boss,” which she showed in two different variations. The first updo was two twisted buns stacked vertically on top of each other, while the second was a classic bun with an unexpected accessory — a yellow No. 2 pencil. “Adding a pencil to the look drives home that this is a bossy girl,” says Redway. She says the inspiration came from the tailoring and suiting in the fashion collection.

Although Gen Z said the girl boss was “dead” in 2021, 2024 is showing signs that we’re not quite over the business woman vibes just yet. Over the past year, we’ve seen “office siren” and “work crush” makeup tutorials start to trend on TikTok. Celebrities have also been walking the red carpet sporting librarian-style bayonetta glasses in increasing numbers. The fact that currently 90% of companies are requiring employees to return to the office in some capacity might have something to do with the trend — but business-casual beauty isn’t intended to be worn at work. Instead, sultry but studious hair and makeup is the new going-out look.

If beauty in 2023 was characterized by girlhood and bows, 2024 is quickly becoming the year that we swap our ballet buns for 401(k) buns. “There’s no ballerina-core happening here,” says Redway. “I wanted a cool bun.” She created the style’s shape and structure by first applying TRESemmé Extra Hold Mousse throughout the hair, and then using a flat paddle brush to slick the strands back while blow drying and created a ponytail. She then twisted the sleek ponytails into buns (leaving out the very ends of the hair for the spiked effect) and secured it all into place with hair pins and TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray.

The absurdity of channeling an “office siren” and wearing fake glasses or a pencil in your hair on a night out might seem ridiculous, but it’s not dissimilar to the 2010s trend of wearing business-casual blazers, pencil skirts, and peplum to the club. We may make fun of it now, but as Redway says, the whole point is to be unserious. “This is an evening wear look,” she says. “This girl doesn’t work at an office, for sure — but she’s still a boss.”


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